Last Updated on Friday, 19 July, 2019 01:35:33 AM


2012-05-20 SUN 14:50

Ports have always been a major link in any country's trade and will continue to play a vital role in the country's economic activities and development.

Seaports in Malaysia are under the responsibility of either port authorities or the Marine Department. There are ten port authorities in Malaysia, of which five are in Peninsular Malaysia, four in Sarawak and one in Sabah.

The ports in the peninsula are Port Klang, Penang Port, Johor Port, Kuantan Port and Kemaman Port. These are all federal ports which are responsible to the Ministry of Transport. Currently, the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), designed to be the region's premier transshipment hub, is being developed in the south western part of Johor. PTP is scheduled to begin commercial operations in January 2000.

The ports in Sabah and Sarawak (except Bintulu) are under state ministry supervision. In Sarawak, Bintulu is a federal port whilst Kuching, Rajang and Miri ports come under the responsibility of the Sarawak State Ministry of Finance and Public Utilities.

All ports in Sabah are grouped under the Sabah Ports Authority and fall under the responsibility of the Sabah State Ministry of Communications and Works.
Altogether there are 19 ports in the country, both major and minor. Eight are in the peninsula, seven in Sabah and four in Sarawak. Each port authority is expected to be financially self-sufficient and operates without subsidy.


Port Klang is Malaysia's principal port, both in terms of facilities available and of cargo tonnage handled. Port Klang handles over 50 per cent of Peninsular Malaysia's sea borne trade. It is the main container port of the country and handles 60 per cent of the container trade.

Port Klang has three areas of operations namely, South Port, North Port and West Port. Total berth facilities consists of 44 berths measuring 13 km. These facilities are developed on supply driven basis to ensure there is sufficient capacities to cater efficient service. Port Klang handled 48 million tones in 1998 and it is forecasted to handle 113 million tones by the year 2010.

North Port

Located in the North Port are the container, break bulk, dry bulk and liquid bulk terminals, as well as a number of specialized terminals, cement and petroleum which are operated by private companies.
Of the 17 berths in North Port, nine are container berths with a total length of 2,179 meters which can handle ships of up to 80,000 tones displacement.

Free Commercial Zone

North Port and West Port were designated as Free Commercial Zones (FCZ) in 1993 and 1996 respectively. The FCZ status for Port Klang has encouraged trading and value-added activities, in addition to facilitating trans-shipment traffic. Value-added activities within the Free Zone include breakbuilking, packing/repacking, sorting/grading and labeling/relabelling.

To increase our regional competitiveness, the scope of value-added activities has been expanded to include minor assembly and simple manufacturing. The requirement for approval permits (AP) for most scheduled goods which are meant for re-export has been removed, thus promoting the development of a trading environment for Port Klang.

Other activities allowed in the Free Zone include trans-shipment, - consolidation of cargo for subsequent shipment, trading, regional distribution, inspection and sampling as well as sales and re-sales.

The Port Klang Distribution Park
The Port Klang Distribution Park (PKDP) is the first of its kind in Port Klang. The 26-hectare Distripark is located within the Free Commercial Zone in North Port.

For fast and efficient distribution, the Distripark has free warehouses. When fully developed, there will be nine warehouses offering a total of 125,000 square meters of warehouse space as well as six hectares of open storage. Within the Distripark, goods can be consolidated, labeled, stored and re-shipped to their final destination.

South Port

South Port, which is about 8 km from North Port, caters to dry and liquid bulks and domestic traffic. It has eight berths.

West Port

Port Klang's new gateway, West Port, is situated on an island known as Pulau Indah. West Port is developed with specialized terminals for handling iron and steel, cars, cereals, sugar, timber, fertilizer, cement and petrochemicals as well as larger-scale container facilities. The gateway covers an area of 510 hectares.

West Port has 14 berths in operation now. When completed by the year 2005 it will have 31 berths with a total quay length of 8 km. The berths in operation are three liquid bulks, four container berths (1,200 meters), two dry bulks, four break bulks and one cement terminal. All the berths are designed for ships of up to 80,000 - 115,000 tones displacement. Natural depth of water alongside is from 14 to 17 meters.

West Port Distribution Park

A new 14.2 hectares Distripark at West Port commenced it operation in October 1998. There will be three warehouses which will be built in three phases. Phase One will see the development of an open warehouse which offers a storage of 43,664 sq. meters. Unlike the Port Klang Distribution Park, there will no leasing of space in this Distripark.


Port facilities in Penang are located on the island as well as on the mainland. There are four different areas of operations:

Butterworth Wharves

Located at Butterworth Deep Water Wharves are the container, break bulk and liquid bulk (vegetable oil) terminals. There are six berths, three for containers, three break bulk and one dolphin berth for vegetable oil tankers.

Swettenham Pier

Located on Penang Island, this Passenger Terminal for cruise liners and regional ferry service has been earmarked into an international cruise terminal with related commercial and tourism complexes.

Prai Bulk Cargo Terminal

Located at Prai, 12 km south of Butterworth Wharves, the Prai Bulk Cargo Terminal handles both liquid bulk (petr6-chemical) and dry bulk cargo. Private pipelines are installed at the berths for liquid bulk cargo handling.

North Butterworth Container Terminal

The North Butterworth Container Terminal with a berth length of 600 meters and a capacity of 508,000 TEUs per annum is a computerized container terminal.



Strategically located on the eastern seaboard of Peninsular Malaysia, Kuantan Port is the gateway into Malaysia for sea borne trade especially catering for the fastest growing economic region in the world - the Pacific Rim.

Apart from handling conventional dry and liquid bulk cargo comprising sawn timber, palm oil, wheat, maize, fertilizers and petrochemicals, Kuantan Port provides container services of seven feeder calls per week to the Far East and Asia-Pacific region.



The Kemaman port is enclosed entirely by east and south breakwaters measuring 525 meters and 1,525 meters respectively. Kemaman port has three operational areas viz. East Wharf, Petronas Export Terminal and Kemaman Supply Base. A new berth namely namely East Wharf is still under construction.

East Wharf

The East Wharf is a deep water general purpose terminal which provides port facilities to the various industries located within the state's industrial zone.

The terminal is well-equipped to receive raw materials and the export of semi-finished steel products for the direct-reduction plant.

The terminal has a 648 meters long wharf to accommodate vessels of up to 150,000 DWT. Maximum draught alongside is 16.4 meters.

Petronas Export Terminal

The terminal at Tanjung Sulong was designed and developed by Pertonas for the storage and export of LPG. A dolphin pier of 320 meters long can accommodate gas tankers of 60,000 DWT. Depth of water is 13 meters.

Supply Base

The Supply Base was developed to provide support services to oil companies in the exploration and production of offshore petroleum and gas in Peninsular Malaysia and other areas. The base is managed and operated by a private limited company - the Kemaman Supply Base Management Company.


The Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), located at the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia amidst the confluence of international shipping lanes is poised to emerge as a major regional transshipment hub, offering a host of advantages which international shippers cannot afford to ignore.

They include competitive rates, a strategic location, proximity to international waters and linkages to a vast and bustling hinterland. Scheduled to begin commercial operations in January 2000, the port also offers ideal harbor conditions in the form of a sheltered bay with naturally deep waters which allow for a fast turnaround time even for very large ships.

PTP is currently focusing on Phase One of its development plans. Main facilities available in Phase One are as follows:-

Six linear berths totaling 2.16 km in length

Total area of 1.2 million sq. meters reserved for container handling and storage activities

Two container freight stations with floor space of 20,000 sq. meters

Port administration building and government agencies complex

Access road of 5.4 km linking PTP to the Second link expressway and a proposed rail network measuring 31.5 km to the national rail grid at Kempas

I.T. system purpose-designed using a dual redundancy approach. This system, known as the Integrated Terminal & Port Management Information system will enhance a near paperless transaction linking all port users

Lease able land area of approximately 420 hectares reserved for manufacturing, commercial and industrial area.

With these facilities, PTP will be able to handle an annual throughput of 3.8 million TEUs.



Located in a Free Zone, Johor Port plays an important role as an Centerport centre catering to all cargo types inclusive of containerized and non-containerized cargo (liquid, dry and break bulk cargo). The current capacity of the port is 40 million tones including a 1 million TEUs dedicated container terminal.
Johor Port has five main terminals :
1- Container Terminal

With a berth length of 760 meters it is designed to accommodate the most modern of container vessels plying the world today. With ample intermodal yards equipped with state-of-the-art container handling equipment it has the capacity to handle 1 million TEUs annually. The terminal is equipped with modern and efficient container handling facilities consisting of five Post-Panamax Gantry Cranes, 19 rubber-tyred Transfer Cranes, three Reach Stackers and 46 prime movers.

2- Liquid Bulk Terminal

The facilities are adequately, served by two "T" shaped dedicated jetties which are linked to the Hazardous Liquid Bulk Terminal and the Edible Oil Bulk Terminal by a system of dedicated pipelines.

The Hazardous Liquid Bulk Terminal, is equipped with sophisticated safety features to handle hazardous liquid bulk cargoes such as petroleum products, chemicals and LPG. The supporting terminal tank farm has storage/holding capacity of 90,000 tones. Cargo can be conveyed through fixed pipelines at a maximum rate of 1,200 tones per hour.

The Edible Oil Bulk Terminal which has four berth jetties, is designed to accommodate the largest tankers in the trade to a maximum loading rate of 3,000 tones per hour. This terminal is backed up by a tank farm with a storage/holding capacity of 230,000 tones.

Dry Bulk Terminal

It is the region's most modern and efficient terminal of its kind and is designed to accommodate bulk carriers up to 60,000 DWT. The terminal comprises four dedicated berths with a linear berth length of 818 meters for handling cereals, chemical fertilizer, cement clinker etc., with a handling capacity of up to 1,000 tones per hour. Handling operations are highly merchandised employing three rail-mounted level luffing cranes, one continuous unloader and two bulk gantry cranes. Berths are directly linked to user warehouses by dedicated conveyor systems.

Break Bulk Terminal

The terminal handles cargo which includes palletized cargo, cargo in drums, steel billets, coils, scrap metal, timber, heavy lifts etc. It is supported by modern cargo handling equipment designed to enhance productivity and expedite vessel turnaround time. It is served by ample storage/holding space of 220,000 m3 which includes transit sheds, warehouses and open yards.

Multipurpose Terminal

This is the latest phase of the Port's expansion programme which offers 1 kilometer of berth length with a minimum water depth alongside of 13.8 meters. The terminal is designed for handling general and bulk cargo which does not require the use of a conveyor system and also suitable for handling domestic containerized cargo. An ample back-up area of 485,623 sq. meters with paved open yards and warehouses is available, including a covered warehouse of 10,600 sq. meters.


Bintulu port, covering an area of 320 hectares is the only export gateway for Malaysia's export earner liquefied natural gas produced from the Central Luconia field, off the Bintulu coast. In addition, it handles a growing volume of a variety of general cargo, liquid and dry bulk, and containerized cargoes.

The port is well equipped with dedicated berths and state-of-the-art facilities to handle a variety of cargo and efficiently including a wide range of cargo handling equipment and ancillary facilities.
Bintulu Port uses the Vessel Traffic Surveillance System, crucial in monitoring, controlling and navigating vessels safely in the port water limits.

The latest addition to its current facilities is a new dedicated container terminal with a total quay length of 450 meters. The new container terminal is equipped with the latest and most modern port equipment and other supporting facilities similar to those available at other world class ports globally.


Kuching Port Authority is the first organized port to be established in Sarawak under the Port Authorities Ordinance, 1961. Incorporated on 4 April 1961, Kuching Port Authority has grown to be the main gateway for Sarawak's maritime trade. The Port of Kuching comprises three terminals.

1- Pending Terminal

The Pending Terminal of 613 meters marginal wharf, has a total of 25,800 sq. meters of covered storage space and 26,743 sq. m of open storage. Container vessels are serviced here but ships must provide lifton/liftoff gear for ship/shore operations. The CFS is 8,505 sq. meters while the container stacking yard is 74,598 sq. meters. There is also RoRo ramp/pontoon located at the eastern end of the terminal. This terminal is restricted to vessels with a LOA of 175 meters and a draft of 7.6 meters. Situated on the northern part is the Biawak Oil Jetty which is used by tankers carrying petroleum products to the nearby tank farm and for ships taking bunker. This facility consisting of two concrete jetties of 47.5 meters and 45 meters in length is restricted to vessels having an overall length of 110 meters and drawing 6.4 meters of water.

2- Sejingkat Terminal

The Sejingkat Terminal is designed to cater for vessels of up to 5,000 DWT with an overall length of 115 meters drawing 7.5 meters of water. The reinforced concrete wharf measuring 125 meters long by 20.8 meters wide is connected to the land by two approach driveways each measuring 25 meters x 8 meters. Total covered storage space is 1,872 sq. meters and open storage area is 12,070 sq. meters.
3- Senari Terminal

This terminal covering an area of 60 hectares was completed in June 1998. The 635 meters multi-purpose berth fitted with crane rails for future container handling, has a depth of 11 meters at lowest water and can take in ships 200 meters in length with a draft of 7.5 meters at the present time. Once the navigation channel is dredged the terminal will be able to accommodate ships with 200 meters LOA drawing a draft of 9.5 meters.

The terminal with annual cargo capacity of 7 million tones and 250,000 TEUs has a total of 20,000 sq. meters of covered storage, 8,000 sq.metres of Container Freight Station, 45,000 sq.metres of open storage and 160,000 sq. meters container yard.


A new port complex at the Kuala Baram Industrial Estate constructed in 1998 has six berths with a total length of 390 meters. It has two transit sheds with a total area of 5,400 sq.metres and a container yard with a total area of 16,000 sq.metres. Other facilities include 28 reefer points, a 63,000 sq.metres timber cum general cargo yard, a 200 sq.metres dangerous goods store as well as the office building of the Miri Port Authority.


Rajang Port has five centers of operations:-

1- Sibu Centre

Four container/ general cargo berths

448 meters length with 8.5 meters draught

Max. vessel size of 6,000 DWT

2- Tanjong Manis Centre

A deep water anchorage of 12.0 meters anchorage depth

Max. vessel size of 20,000 DWT

Timber logs and timber products export point

A 203metre length wharf which began operations in 1998with10 meters draught
3- Sarikei Centre

Two container/ general cargo berths

146 meters length with 7.7 meters draught

Max. vessel size of 3,000 DWT

4- Sungei Merah Centre

A 49 meters bulk oil jetty with 4.6 meters draught

Limited to 75 meters length vessels

5- Bintangor Centre
A 49 meters general cargo berth with 4.6 meters draught

Max. vessel size - 2,000 DWT


Sabah ports comprise the major ports of Kota Kinabalu, Sapangar Bay Oil Terminal Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kudat and Kunak

Port of Kota Kinabalu

This port has 12 general cargo/container berths, max. vessel size 16,000 DWT

Sapangar Bay Oil Terminal

The main berth of this terminal can accommodate tankers of up to 30,000 DWT and the inner berth for tankers of up to 1,000 DWT.

Port of Sandakan

This terminal has five general cargo/container berths, max. vessel size 20,000 DWT and one oil jetty, max. vessel size 30,000 DWT.

Port of Tawau

This port has six general cargo/container berths for ships of up to 10,000 DWT and one oil jetty for ships up to 10,000 DWT.

Port of Lahad Datu

This port which has three new general cargo/container berth s, completed in 1998 accommodates max.vessel size 40,000 DWT. In addition, it has two general cargo berths which also handles liquid cargo, max.vessel size 25,000 DWT.

Port of Kunak
This port has one liquid berth, max.vessel size 28,000 DWT.

Increasing Tawau role as shipping hub, says Minister
Tawau: Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said the Tawau port has become increasingly busy as a shipping hub with 235 foreign and local vessels registered over two years up to 2004.
He said this while officiating at the opening of the Marine Department's district administrative building and housing for its staff, here, Thursday.
The RM3.3 million building, being a sub-project under the 8th Malaysia Plan, is fully equipped with modern facilities, including computers with Internet and Intranet facilities.
According to him, these include 12 web-based applications such as harbor and shipping statistic system, online registration and licensing of boats, with connections to the Marine Department offices throughout the country.
The Tawau port is also in compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Code (ISPS) with surveillance on international merchant vessels berthed there.
Chan also opened the RM2.6 million housing block, located at Jalan Apas, for Marine Department staff.
Meanwhile, Sabah Marine Director Benjamin Bernard Bijion said the department had implemented facilities for safe sailing in Sabah waters, such as distance surveillance for the Batu Tinagat lighthouse, as well as on Sipadan and Ligitan islands.
The department had also installed the automatic identification system on July 1 to keep tabs on merchant ships in Sabah waters.
At the same time, the Sabah Marine Department had forged a close cooperation with departments in Peninsular Malaysia towards improving maritime and shipping services in the State.
Benjamin also disclosed that RM80 million had been spent on the Marine Department Complex at Sepanggar, a maintenance depot and two vessels for preventing and controlling oil slicks at sea

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